THE GAZETTE: "Hawthorne's Hollis wants to make mark in college"

BY Edward Kensik

HAWTHORNE — Ryan Hollis finds himself before the start of his sophomore season at Stonehill College number one on the depth chart at the rover position.

Hollis, a Hawthorne High School graduate, is hoping to keep that spot when the season opens for the Stonehill College Skyhawks football team, a Division II school in Easton, Mass., on Sept. 7 at Bloomsburg College in Pennsylvania.

"I had a pretty good spring," said Hollis about football practice. "You need to show them that you are working hard. I definitely feel confident this year compared to last year and I know more and more people this season and the plays."

Along with the speed of the college game, Hollis said that the big difference from high school is the very thick playbook.

"We spend most of our time in meetings," said Hollis about going over the playbook and watching films. "There is more of a mental aspect in college."

An All-Passaic County football quarterback, Hollis came to Stonehill looking to make a showing on defense. For his freshman season instead of defense, he played on the special teams and played in all nine games.

The highlight of his 2012 season came against Pace University where he took a fake punt and ran for the first down. The Skyhawks would go on to a 43-7 win.

After his freshman season the coaching staff moved him from defensive back to the rover spot, which is a hybrid of linebacker and defensive back.

With the move to rover Hollis has a better chance of starting for the Skyhawks. In addition, he is much stronger than last season when he was listed at 5-feet-11-inches and 205 pounds.

Coming into his freshman season, he was looking to play anywhere on the field as much as he could.

"I didn't really expect to play on defense, but I wanted to work hard enough to get on special teams," said Hollis.

While he has the advantage as number on the depth chart, Hollis is not taking it for granted that he will be starting for the Skyhawks defense come Sept. 7.

- See more at: